Nice trailer (WMV) for Paul Verhoeven’s new movie, Zwartboek. Edit: and I am not just saying that because, as someone put it, “Carice van Houten has the nicest ass in a trailer ever”. Though that helps.

Copyright law and the copyright law: the case Vermande vs. Bojkovski

In some respects Dutch copyright law is not as advanced as its American counterpart. For instance, in the US publications of the federal government are in the public domain. This is for example why people get to know so much about space: anyone can republish images that were originally published by NASA. In the Netherlands, … Read More

BBC tries to blame Tim Berners-Lee for everything

International terrorism? Blame Tim Berners-Lee! Children being exposed to hard porn? Blame Tim Berners-Lee! Nigerian scams? Blame Tim Berners-Lee! The gist of the interview that the BBC held with Tim Berners-Lee seems to be that he should feel guilty for everything that the web is being abused for. Time and again the so-called reporter comes … Read More

Did Google “steal” the moon?

Copyright maximalists use silly terminology like “copyright protects the content of intellectual property owners against theft by pirates“. Works are works, not content, and cannot be stolen, because they can effortly and almost freely be duplicated. They are not owned by copyright owners, but by the public, which loans the works to the publishers (most … Read More

Why I voted No

For some reason, a lot of the foreign press and a lot of the Dutch politicians had their answer ready as to why the majority of the Dutch voters voted against the treaty for the constitution of the E.U., although hardly* any of them had actually bothered to ask those same voters. That does not … Read More

Song of experience

Odd, how you sometimes have to add “gutenberg” or “wikipedia” to your search string to find the real deal. One would expect Google to cough those up first. Especially Wikipedia articles are an enigma: Google will often link to sites that use Wikipedia content, with the original article nowhere to be found. I was looking … Read More

New monopoly right in The Netherlands

The dumbest government we have seen for ages has managed to pull another rabbit from the hat. Book prices are now officially regulated, meaning that you are not allowed to sell them cheaply. The booksellers have even set up a site giving information (with which they mean: propaganda) to explain the motives behind the new … Read More

Is this how Europe works?

European Union: internal market. For an internal market, trade-related laws need to be harmonized. Council of ministers agrees to proposals (called directives) by the civil service of the E.U., the European Commission, which member states then fold into their national laws. The E.U. and its directives exist by the grace of the member states; if … Read More

Digital Durability

My part-time boss asked me to look into archival solutions. Quite soon I stumbled upon a Dutch government plan to make sure all its branches posses the knowledge of how to archive digital documents. The people behind the plan have even set up a website, called Digitale Duurzaamheid (“Digital Durability”), which has all kinds of … Read More

Untitled tragedy

Coltan is probably something you have never heard of, but it would change your daily life if it got taken away from you. It is a mineral used in many electronic devices, such as cell phones and laptops. Eighty percent of the world’s supply comes from Congo, although apparently you do not want to know … Read More